Signs Aging Parents are Struggling with Daily Activities

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The upcoming holidays give family members the chance to put their busy lives on pause and come together to enjoy each other’s company. For adult children, holiday gatherings offer opportunities to check on the health and safety of aging parents as well. Here are five signs that can indicate Mom or Dad is struggling with everyday activities.

  1. Weight Loss or Changes in Eating Habits
    Sudden weight loss can be a sign of serious underlying conditions, including depression, dementia and even cancer. Seniors can also lose weight when conditions like failing eyesight, arthritis or flagging energy makes it difficult to purchase and prepare food.
  2. Changes in Appearance or Hygiene
    Changes in hygiene and appearance can indicate physical impairments like poor dental health, vision or dexterity, but can be indicators of more serious mental problems. Not caring for personal appearance may hint at lack of motivation and loneliness, common issues among the elderly in which professional help should be sought as soon as possible.
  3. Poor Housekeeping or Maintenance
    Unkempt bathrooms, overgrown yards and dirty dishes are clear indications that an aging parent needs help with housekeeping. Items like burned-out light bulbs and non-working smoke detectors are signs that elderly parents can’t keep up with safety maintenance tasks.
  4. Decreased Mobility
    Recent studies have shown that a change in gait or stride is a leading indicator of failing cognitive abilities. Decreased mobility can also be a sign of a number of physical conditions like arthritis and muscles weakness, but can result from unreported injuries like falls as well.
  5. Uncharacteristic Behavior and Attitudes
    Whether it’s a change in attitude towards authority figures, dressing inappropriately for the weather. or a withdrawal from favorite activities, out-of-character behavior of any kind can be a sign of emotional or mental problems.

Although discussions with elderly parents about their health and living situations are never easy, identifying the need for senior home care can prompt a positive conversation. The most valuable gift that adult children can give to elderly parents during the holiday season is to ensure that Mom and Dad have the resources that they need to enjoy their golden years.

For more information about how you can help an aging parent or loved one this holiday season, visit or contact a Care Manager at 972-468-6010.

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